I ordered The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: John: Get to Know the Living Savior looking for a personal Bible Study and even though this study says it can be done alone, I really think I will enjoy it more when I convince a group of people from the church to study it with me. Had I chosen material on a Bible book I hadn’t already studied on my own several times, I would have found this a wonderful solo study.
This Bible Study has a companion book that is recommended but not required. I did not get the companion book and I really wish I would have. i will purchase it if I can get a home study or church study group together.
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
David C. Cook; New edition (July 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Karen Davis, Assistant Media Specialist, for The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***
A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago and the author of more than 150 books. For over thirty years, millions have come to rely on the timeless wisdom of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbeâ€™s â€œBeâ€ Commentary series. Dr. Wiersbeâ€™s commentary and insights on Scripture have helped readers understand and apply Godâ€™s Word with the goal of life transformation. Dubbed by many as the â€œpastorâ€™s pastor,â€ Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today.
Dr. Warren Wiersbeâ€™s commentaries and his world-renowned knowledge of Godâ€™s Word can now be enjoyed in a format that allows everyone to enjoy spending time getting to know the Savior. David C Cook plans to release additional volumes in the Wiersbe Bible Study Series over the next few years.
List Price: $8.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (July 1, 2010)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
God in the Flesh
Before you begin â€¦
â€¢ Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and wisdom as you go through this lesson.
â€¢ Read John 1â€”2. This lesson references chapters 1â€“2 in Be Alive. It will be helpful for you to have your Bible and a copy of the commentary available as you work through this lesson.
From the Commentary
Much as our words reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ is Godâ€™s â€œWordâ€ to reveal His heart and mind to us. â€œHe that hath seen me hath seen the Fatherâ€ (John 14:9). A word is composed of letters, and Jesus Christ is â€œAlpha and Omegaâ€ (Rev. 1:11), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. According to Hebrews 1:1â€“3, Jesus Christ is Godâ€™s last Word to mankind, for He is the climax of divine revelation.
â€”Be Alive, page 20
1. As you read John 1:1â€“2, what stands out to you about the description of
â€œthe Wordâ€? What does it mean that the Word was â€œwithâ€ God? That the
Word â€œwasâ€ God? How does this opening contrast with that of the other
three gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, and Luke)? What does this tell us
about John, the writer of this gospel?
More to Consider: Why do you think John refers to Jesus as â€œthe Son
of Godâ€ so many times in his gospel? (See John 1:34, 49; 3:18; 5:25;
10:36; 11:4, 27; 19:7; 20:31.)
2. Choose one verse or phrase from John 1â€”2 that stands out to you.
This could be something youâ€™re intrigued by, something that makes you
uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with
you, or just something you want to examine further. Write that here.
From the Commentary
Life is a key theme in Johnâ€™s gospel; it is used thirty-six times. What are the essentials for human life? There are at least four: light (if the sun went out, everything would die), air, water, and food. Jesus is all of these! He is the Light of Life and the Light of the World (John 8:12). He is the â€œSun of righteousnessâ€ (Mal. 4:2). By His Holy Spirit, He gives us the â€œbreath of lifeâ€ (John 3:8; 20:22), as well as the Water of Life (John 4:10, 13â€“14; 7:37â€“39). Finally, Jesus is the Living Bread of Life that came down from heaven (John 6:35ff.). He not only has life and gives life, but He is life (John 14:6).
â€”Be Alive, page 22
3. As you go through the gospel of John, underline the references to â€œlife.â€ Why do you think Johnâ€™s gospel touches on this theme so frequently? How do the themes of â€œlightâ€ and â€œlifeâ€ relate to one another in John 1?
From the Commentary
John the Baptist is one of the most important persons in the New Testament. He is mentioned at least eighty-nine times. John had the special privilege of introducing Jesus to the nation of Israel. He also had the difficult task of preparing the nation to receive its Messiah. He called them to repent of their sins and to prove that repentance by being baptized and then living changed lives. John summarized what John the Baptist had to say about Jesus Christ (John 1:15â€“18).
â€”Be Alive, page 24
4. What is significant about the gospel writerâ€™s mention of John the Baptist (John 1:6â€“28)? Why would this have been important to the early believers?
From Todayâ€™s World
Although the skepticism of the modern age has diminished their impact, self-proclaimed modern â€œprophetsâ€ continue to speak about the end of the world (or other events) as if they have exclusive insight into â€œinsider informationâ€ from a source they often claim is God Himself. Some gain a following as people clamor for wisdom about why the world is in its current state. Whether out of fear or frustration, they look to the so-called prophets for answers.
5. Why are people so fascinated (whether they agree or disagree) with modern prophets? Do you agree that people today are more skeptical about prophets and their reliability? Why or why not? How does todayâ€™s culture compare to the culture in which John the Baptist appeared? What does this suggest about the role of prophecy in modern Christianity?
From the Commentary
The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices. At Passover, each family had to have a lamb, and during the year, two lambs a day were sacrificed at the temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for personal sacrifices. Those lambs were brought by people to people, but here is Godâ€™s Lamb, given by God to humankind! Those lambs could not take away sin, but the Lamb of God can take away sin. Those lambs were for Israel alone, but this Lamb would shed His blood for the whole world!
â€”Be Alive, pages 27â€“28
6. How might Johnâ€™s Jewish followers have responded when he announced Jesus as the â€œLamb of Godâ€? Why is John the Baptistâ€™s testimony important? How does Johnâ€™s description of the â€œSpiritâ€ compare to the coming of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the book of Acts? What does this teach us about the Holy Spirit?
From the Commentary
â€œWe have found the Messiah!â€ was the witness Andrew gave to Simon. Messiah is a Hebrew word that means â€œanointed,â€ and the Greek equivalent is â€œChrist.â€ To the Jews, it was the same as â€œSon of Godâ€ (see Matt. 26:63â€“64; Mark 14:61â€“62; Luke 22:67â€“70). In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed and thereby set apart for special service. Kings were especially called â€œGodâ€™s anointedâ€ (1 Sam. 26:11; Ps. 89:20); so, when the Jews spoke about their Messiah, they were thinking of the king who would come to deliver them and establish the kingdom. There was some confusion among the Jewish teachers as to what the Messiah would do. Some saw Him as a suffering sacrifice (as in Isa. 53), while others saw a splendid king (as in Isa. 9 and 11). Jesus had to explain even to His own followers that the cross had to come before the crown, that He must suffer before He could enter into His glory (Luke 24:13â€“35).
â€”Be Alive, page 29
7. Why were the Jews expecting the Messiah to appear as a king? What does this tell us about the culture and circumstance of the Jews at the time? How might the Jewish leaders have received the pronouncement of Jesus as the Messiah? There had been others who claimed messiahship prior to Jesusâ€™ arrival. What argument does John make in chapter 1 to support the fact that Jesus is the One theyâ€™ve been waiting for?
From the Commentary
â€œThe third dayâ€ means three days after the call of Nathanael (John 1:45â€“51). Since that was the fourth day
of the week recorded in John (John 1:19, 29, 35, 43), the wedding took place on â€œthe seventh dayâ€ of this â€œnew creation week.â€ Throughout his gospel, John makes it clear that Jesus was on a divine schedule, obeying the will of the Father. Jewish tradition required that virgins be married on a Wednesday, while widows were married on a Thursday. Being the â€œseventh dayâ€ of Johnâ€™s special week, Jesus would be expected to rest, just as God rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:1â€“3). But sin had interrupted Godâ€™s Sabbath rest, and it was necessary for both the Father and the Son to work (John 5:17; 9:4). In fact, John recorded two specific miracles that Jesus deliberately performed on Sabbath days (John 5; 9). At this wedding, we see Jesus in three different roles: the Guest, the Son, and the Host.
â€”Be Alive, pages 35â€“36
8. Read John 2:1â€“11. Why do you think the Scriptures record this as Jesusâ€™ first miracle? What is the significance of turning water into wine? Of the timing of the miracle?
More to Consider: Mosesâ€™ first miracle was a plagueâ€”turning water into blood (Ex. 7:19ff.), which speaks of judgment. How does Jesusâ€™ first miracle speak of grace?
From the Commentary
Jesus revealed His zeal for God first of all by cleansing the temple (John 2:13â€“17). The priests had established a lucrative business of exchanging foreign money for Jewish currency and also selling the animals needed for the sacrifices. No doubt, this â€œreligious marketâ€ began as a convenience for the Jews who came long distances to worship in the temple, but in due time the â€œconvenienceâ€ became a business, not a ministry. The tragedy is that this business was carried on in the court of the Gentiles in the temple, the place where the Jews should have been meeting the Gentiles and telling them about the one true God. Any Gentile searching for truth would not likely find it among the religious merchants in the temple.
â€”Be Alive, page 41
9. Why was Jesus so upset about the money changers? (See John 2:12â€“16.) What is significant about Jesusâ€™ comment in verse 19? How does this foreshadowing help us to see Godâ€™s divine timetable for Jesusâ€™ earthly work?
From the Commentary
While in Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus performed miracles that are not given in detail in any of the Gospels. It must have been these signs that especially attracted Nicodemus (John 3:2). Because of the miracles, many people professed to believe in Him, but Jesus did not accept their profession. No matter what the people themselves said or others said about them. He did not accept human testimony.
â€”Be Alive, page 44
10. Why didnâ€™t Jesus accept human testimony? What does John mean when he writes, â€œHe did not need manâ€™s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a manâ€ (2:25)? What does this say about Jesusâ€™ feelings toward those who followed Him because of His miracles?
Take a moment to reflect on all that youâ€™ve explored thus far in this study of John 1â€”2. Review your notes and answers and think about how each of these things matters in your life today.
Tips for Small Groups: To get the most out of this section, form pairs or trios and have group members take turns answering these questions. Be honest and as open as you can in this discussion, but most of all, be encouraging and supportive of others. Be sensitive to those who are going through particularly difficult times and donâ€™t press for people to speak if theyâ€™re uncomfortable doing so.
11. How do you respond to the different descriptions of Jesus in John 1 (the Word, the Lamb, the Son of God)? In what ways does the father/son imagery connect with you? Why is it important for you to know Jesus was Godâ€™s Son and not just a prophet sent to preach good news?
12. In what ways do you see your own life as a â€œlightâ€ to those around you? How have others been light to you? What are some ways youâ€™ve struggled to be a light to others? How can the picture of Jesus as the light inspire you to be a light to others?
13. What sort of â€œMessiahâ€ do you think youâ€™d be hoping for if you were among the Jewish people before and during Jesusâ€™ time? In what ways might you have been pleasantly surprised by the way the Messiah arrived? In what ways might you have been disappointed? How do you see the Messiahâ€™s role in your life today? In what ways is Jesusâ€™ role like that of a king? Of a servant?
14. Think of one or two things that you have learned that youâ€™d like to work on in the coming week. Remember that this is all about quality, not quantity. Itâ€™s better to work on one specific area of life and do it well than to work on many and do poorly (or to be so overwhelmed that you simply donâ€™t try). Do you want to know more about Johnâ€™s description of Jesus as â€œthe Wordâ€? Do you want to better understand the Jewsâ€™ expectation about the Messiah? Be specific. Go back through John 1â€”2 and put a star next to the phrase or verse that is most encouraging to you. Consider memorizing this verse.
Real-Life Application Ideas: John the Baptist contrasts his method of baptism with Jesusâ€™ in 1:26â€“34. How well do you know your churchâ€™s stance on water baptism? Learn what your church teaches on this
important topic. Consider what baptism has meant to you. Or, if you havenâ€™t yet been baptized, consider talking with your pastor about being baptized.
15. Write a prayer below (or simply pray one in silence), inviting God to work on your mind and heart in those areas youâ€™ve previously noted. Be honest about your desires and fears.
Notes for Small Groups:
â€¢ Look for ways to put into practice the things you wrote in the Going Forward section. Talk with other group members about your ideas and commit to being accountable to one another.
â€¢ During the coming week, ask the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal truth to you from what youâ€™ve read and studied.
â€¢ Before you start the next lesson, read John 3â€”4. For more in-depth lesson preparation, read chapters
3â€“4, â€œA Matter of Life and Deathâ€ and â€œThe Bad Samaritan,â€ in Be Alive.